Students, school officials, elected officials and other stakeholders gathered on the field at Bob Evans Stadium last Tuesday morning to break ground on the long-awaited new Tyner Middle High Academy.
“We’re excited to begin the new phase of this journey,” Tyner Principal Tiffany Earvin said. “We are thankful to everyone who fought for this space, who fought for this space for our students, including our students themselves.”
Funded jointly by the Board of Education and the County Commission, the new school will replace two aging buildings that a 2019 facilities report from MGT Consulting Group identified as the schools most in need of replacement in the district. The existing schools will remain open during construction of the new facility, which is scheduled to open to students in the fall of 2024.
“We are excited to begin work on the new Tyner Middle High Academy,” said Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson. “This community has been waiting a long time for this new facility, and the students and staff at Tyner deserve a place to feel safe and continue their innovative learning. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this project a reality, especially those students who got involved and made sure that community leaders made their future a priority. I look forward to seeing what’s next for Tyner.”
The 400 building, which houses Tyner’s Freshman Academy, sustained water leaks from the roof, leading to its closure the day before the first day of school for the 2021 fall semester. This prompted students to stage a walk-out to protest the school’s poor conditions–which included holes in the ceiling tiles, leaks, broken windows and other hazards students had to navigate around.
Three seniors later addressed both the Hamilton County Board of Education and the County Commission at August 2021 meetings to press the importance of a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.
“You’re never too young to lead,” Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp commended students. “That’s what the Tyner Academy student body has shown our community by demanding that leaders honor their commitments. Today, we broke ground on a new Tyner Academy, where students will meet opportunities to lead on the field, in the classroom and in the workplace.”
The new $95 million Tyner Middle High Academy, designed by MBI Companies Inc., will be built on the grounds of Bob Evans Stadium–home to the 2022 TSSAA Class 2A Football State Champion Tyner Rams. The new facility will combine both the middle and high schools into a two story building separating middle and high students, but will include shared spaces such as the cafeteria, library, band room, media room and other seating areas. When complete, the old facility will be demolished.
The new building will accommodate up to 1,400 students and feature metal panel roofing, covered walkways and a turf football field. It also includes a new parking lot, 400-seat theater and a weight room and gym space so students can exercise.
“As we continue to prioritize student safety, this building is just one of the ways we ensure that our students are safe,” Board of Education District 5 Representative Karista Mosley-Jones said. “Safety comes at all levels, but it starts with a safe and dedicated space for students who are excited and ready to learn.”
Jeff Arlington of the Christman Construction Company, the contractor overseeing the project, said the firm plans to start construction for the new school immediately and work six days a week to make sure the project gets done in time for the 2024 opening. Other speakers at the groundbreaking included District 5 Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Beck, Tyner Middle Academy Principal Dr. Aleisha McCallie, and representatives from architect MBI Companies Inc. and project contractor the Christman Company.